This fall, I teamed up with AMA Travel and Best Western to to hit the road on a “Best Western Quick Trip” adventure to Lethbridge, Alberta! Lethbridge is located about five hours south east of Edmonton, not too far from Calgary, and not too far from the Canadian-U.S. border! It’s the largest city in southern Alberta, the fourth largest city in all of Alberta, and is one of Alberta’s sunniest cities (it gets more than 320 days of sun a year!!!!)
Not only did AMA Travel and Best Western plan an awesome weekend getaway for me, my friend Vanessa, and my dog Olive (over 1,600 Best Western hotels worldwide are pet-friendly!), they also put together an amazing (I’m calling it ‘Ultimate’) Lethbridge Stay + Play Prize Pack so you can basically recreate my exact weekend (and then some!)
Keep scrolling to read where to eat, what to do and where to stay in Lethbridge, Alberta, and for details on how to enter to win an Ultimate Lethbridge Prize Pack courtesy of my friends at AMA Travel and Best Western!
Note: This post was sponsored by AMA Travel and Best Western. AMA Members save up to 15% on Best Western stays in Canada, the U.S., and worldwide. Your AMA Membership can save you—whether you need roadside assistance, to book a vacation, or at one of their Reward partners. Check out amatravel.ca/bwbloggers to find out more and see the adventures other bloggers went on!
Travel Guide to Lethbridge, Alberta
Where to Eat
Lethbridge, Alberta has some awesome eats! I’d recommend a visit to one of their local breweries—they’ve got two, and we loved the one we tried: Coulee Brew Co. The space is huge—16,000 sq. ft, including its brew pub, which has a great menu featuring dishes like pork craklin, burgers, wings, nachos, pizza and more! I was impressed with how diverse the menu was—the types of food was what you’d expect at a pub, but there was cacio e pepe pizza (Italy), tuna poke tacos (Hawaii), banh mi sandwich (Vietnamese), Seoul Bowl (technically with poke, it’s also Hawaiian but the Seoul title makes you think of Korea). They also have kids and late night food menus!
The Tasting Board we had was whatever basically Chef’s Special for the day, which happened to be delicious tacos. Paired with a flight of their Range Road ream Ale, Bears Hump Nut Brown, Red Coat Amber Trail Ale and Quarter Pound Kilt, plus their sheet pan nachos featuring really tasty house-fried tortilla chips (and we added brisket). Overall it was a solid meal and the drinks were all enjoyable, we ended up buying some packs to take home too!
Bonus Fun Fact: Coulee Brew Co. is named after the coulees all over and around Lethbridge. Coulees are dried up glacial river valleys surrounded by hill peaks. Coulee Brew Co. itself has a lot of cool reclaimed wood and other pieces in their building made from different pieces of Lethbridge’s history. It was neat to read (they have the stories on each table).
Our favourite meal in Lethbridge though was at Two Guys & A Pizza Place, a delicious pizza joint that’s been a mainstay in the city for over 16 years. It was featured in an episode of the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, and offers over 40 kinds of pizza, including a few that have been named Canada’s Best!! There are a lot of really interesting topping and sauce combinations at Two Guys & A Pizza Place, and Vanessa and I were excited to try a bunch. You can get half and half pizzas so that allowed us to try four different kinds: The Cheeseburger (original pizza sauce, beef, bacon, tomatoes, pickles, cheddar and a mayo swirl), Louisiana Cajun Chicken (creamy Cajun sauce, chicken, bacon, jalapeños, green peppers, monterey and cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and parmesan—named Canada’s Best Pizza in 2012), The Italian Club (basil pesto, capicola, pancetta, provolone, onions, tomatoes, arugula, parmesan and balsamic—5th Place at the International Pizza Challenge in 2012), and the Pizza Quattro Stagioni (pizza sauce, capicola, ricotta, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, parmesan and honey).
I drool thinking about these pizzas! I love when toppings just come together to create amazing flavours. The Louisiana Cajun Chicken, Cheeseburger and Pizza Quattro Stagioni were my favourites. The Italian Club was good but not my favourite (I think because I don’t love balsamic). As I write this, I literally wish I could be back in Lethbridge to eat this pizza. Ugh. They brush garlic butter on the crust too so you’re definitely going to eat every single bite of these pizzas. Delicious! The place is bustling on a Saturday night at 6 p.m., so there was a bit of wait for food, but the pizza was worth every second of the wait.
And although not formally part of our weekend itinerary, we were recommend to visit Sonder Coffee too, so we stopped by for some drinks (peppermint tea and matcha latte) before we headed back to Edmonton on Sunday. The place was clearly popular, packed. It reminded us of a lot of the trendy coffee shops in Edmonton with its clean interior, white walls, wooden tables, bursts of green plants. Beyond drinks, Sonder is known for their liege waffles, and on Sunday’s, they offer an Eggs Benedict for brunch. It was a really cute place (though, did have slower service when we went).
Obviously our whirlwind trip to Lethbridge didn’t afford us the time to try all of Lethbridge’s great eats. We were curious to try their Water Tower Grill, which is a restaurant located literally inside the city’s former water tower. And there were a few other spots tweeted to us that I’d love to try again on a return visit.
What to Do
We took Olive on a morning stroll along the gorgeous Henderson Lake in Lethrbidge. It’s a 24-hectare man-made lake with huge old trees, groves, a bunch of benches, walking trail, playground and pathways. It’s popular for kayaks, canoes and paddle boats, and also popular for fishing (there was a guy fishing when we walked by, and a bench near him that was dedicated to a man who used to watch his son fish). That was really peaceful. We passed joggers and dogs along the paths, and not too far from Henderson Lake is the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, which unfortunately was closed when we went (preparing for winter lights festival), but I’m told is also a must-visit in Lethbridge.
I’m a huge fan of escape rooms, so AMA Travel arranged an escape room experience as part of our visit. We tried to escape a super hero-themed room from Escape from LA. We didn’t escape, but we had lots of fun! I thought the storyline fit nicely with the puzzles, and there were quite a few puzzles to solve which kept us pretty busy for the full hour experience.
Bonus Fun Fact: There are a few different nicknames for Lethbridge, including ‘LA’ (Lethbridge, Alberta) and Bridge City.
We also hit the bowling lanes at Galaxy Bowling and Pizza, where I discovered I’m pretty much a pro at 10-pin bowling lol. (However, I am terrible at five-pin bowling lol). Friday and Saturday night is their “Cosmic Bowling” so the building goes dark with disco balls and multi-coloured LED lights. It also proved to be a popular place to be in Lethbridge!
Bonus Fun Fact: AMA Members save 20% on regular open play rates at Bowl Alberta lanes?
There’s also a doggy daycare, indoor dog park / stay & play in Lethbridge called Paw Time Indoor Dog Park! We stopped to let Olive run around here (it was her weekend getaway too! lol) Paw Time does local dog daycare but increasingly, I’ve noticed dog daycares offering service to out-of-town guests who are traveling with their dogs too! It’s definitely convenient, but I was a bit of helicopter dog mom and didn’t want to leave her there (she’s never been to dog daycare before lol) Though, in the course of the hour we hung out—a ton of paw-rents did come by to drop of their dogs, it was definitely a paw-pular place! Okay, I’ll stop with the dog puns lol.
And of course, we couldn’t visit Lethbridge without visiting their famous bridge! The Lethbridge Viaduct or High Level Bridge, is the longest and highest trestle bridge in the world, originally built in the early 1900s. It is 1,600 m long and 95 m high nestled between the coulees, and built to withstand violent winds. The bridge is not just a historical landmark, but the rail line is still used today, with trains crossing it every single day. You can get some great views of the bridge if you head to the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. The whole area is nice to walk too. When we took Olive around, we saw a few joggers and other dog walkers!
Where to Stay
You’ll probably be able to guess where I’m recommending you stay while in Lethbridge: Best Western Plus Service Inn & Suites! This hotel is the newest one in Lethbridge (at the time of writing this, November 2018). This Best Western Plus is conveniently located next to Coulee Brew Co. (walking distance!) and just a short drive from everywhere else you’ll want to explore in Lethbridge (literally it felt like everywhere we went in Lethbridge was within a 5-8 minute drive from one another, it’s a really convenient small city).
We loved the complimentary HOT breakfast at Best Western Plus! Hot breakfast makes such a difference (I’m not really a continental breakfast kind of person. That’s not breakfast to me lol). Breakfast bacon, sausage, and hash browns to stay, and a banana nut or apple cranberry muffin to go was the perfect way to start both of our mornings in Lethbridge. There’s a 24-hour gym if you’re one of those people who work out on your vacations (lol), the pool has a hot tub and waterslides, the room has a mini fridge (to keep your leftovers from all your eatin’ adventures!) and the hotel is pet friendly!
In fact, all Best Western hotels are pet friendly! That meant we could bring my cutie Olive with us on our weekend adventure. Even more convenient? We were able to get a room on the main floor, just steps away from the front or side doors, so I could quickly pop in and out to walk Olive whenever I needed to. Super. Convenient!
Did You Know: AMA members save up to 15% on room rates at Best Western Hotels in the U.S., Canada, and around the world?
And you can keep the savings coming by signing up to the Best Western Rewards Loyalty Program.
It’s free and easy to register, you just need to connect your AMA member number with your Best Western Rewards account and you’ll start earning points which you can use to redeem for stays at Best Western! Every $1 US spent = 10 Best Western Rewards points. The points don’t expire, and you can typically get room stays for about 20,000 points, however this varies depending on where you stay.
- Learn more about Best Western Plus Lethbridge
- Learn more about Best Western Plus
- Learn more about Best Western Rewards
Enter to Win the Ultimate Lethbridge Prize Pack!
Now that you’ve seen the fun we got up to in Lethbridge, Alberta, enter to win the Ultimate Lethbridge Prize Pack so you can do the same! This package includes:
- $100 Esso Gas Card
- $100 Coulee Brew Co. Gift Card
- $100 Two Guys & A Pizza Place Gift Card
- $50 Bowling for 2 at Galaxy Bowling and Pizza
- $40 Escape Room gift card for 2 from Escape from LA
- 50,000 Best Western Rewards Points (which works out to several nights hotel stay at any Best Western hotel!)*
* The winner will need to sign up to become a free Best Western Rewards Member in order to use the 50,000 points. Points required per stay will vary depending on what location you choose.
Bonus Fun Fact: AMA members can get reloadable Esso gas cards at any AMA centre. This will earn you 2% back in AMA reward dollars every time you purchase gas, car washes, or snacks at an Esso. An AMA Reward dollar is equal to $1 that can be spent on travel, movie tickets or memberships.
How to Enter to Win:
To qualify for a chance to win this Ultimate Lethbridge Prize Pack, you must do the following mandatory 3 entry requirements:
- Follow me + AMA Travel + Best Western on Instagram:
- Leave a comment on my Instagram post telling me what makes a good hotel stay for you! And tag a vacation buddy
- Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you followed the three accounts on Instagram. You could also share what makes a good hotel stay for you on your comments here too! Note: comments are moderated so if your comment does not appear on the blog right away, don’t worry about it!
Following me, AMA Travel and Best Western on Instagram, and leaving a comment on Instagram and this blog post is mandatory to enter.
You can also receive additional bonus entries by doing the following:
- Liking our accounts on Facebook: /AMATravel + /BestWestern + /LindaHoangBlog
- Following our accounts on Twitter: @AMATravel + @BestWestern + @lindork
- Tweet the following message: I want to win @lindork’s awesome Ultimate #Lethbridge Prize Pack courtesy of @AMATravel + @BestWestern! Check out her Lethbridge Travel Guide + how to enter: https://bit.ly/2RMX09q #yeg #yyc #explorealberta
- Leave a comment on my Facebook post, tagging a vacation buddy to spread the word about the giveaway!
If you do any of the bonus entry actions, please also let me know when you leave your comment :)
I will randomly select ONE winner from all entries received by Nov. 30, 2018.
Good luck, and thank you to AMA Travel + Best Western for arranging such a great prize pack and a great travel experience!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AMA Travel and Best Western. AMA Members save up to 15% on Best Western stays in Canada, the U.S., and worldwide. Your AMA Membership can save you—whether you need roadside assistance, to book a vacation, or at one of their Reward partners. Check out amatravel.ca/bwbloggers to find out more and see the adventures other bloggers went on!